The night of October the 1st witnessed the appropriately loud and thumping climax of Chennai’s first Hip-Hop Fest, presented by Xplicit Events and Raintree Hotels. This shindig went down at Hotel Raintree’s Club Havana. We were there, yo and shamelessly so *hip hop stance*
Hyderabad’s very own DJ Kanna (on the right in the photo) and DJ Bobkat (MC and rapper for Bombay Bassment) had come down for the final show of this 3-day affair.
People started trickling in at about half-past eight, and for the first twenty minutes or so, the DJs were having a really tough time getting everyone going. Despite their best efforts and their earnest exhortations (‘Show us some heat, Chennai!’, ‘Where’s your fuckin’ hands at?’, ‘Make some fucking NOISE!’), people were generally giving each other slightly baffled, mostly bemused looks and sloooooooooooowly sipping their drinks.
Once some very, veeeeeeery enterprising ladies took the initiative and populated the dance floor, things started to take off. The DJs belted out the crowd-pleasers and soon there was much movin’ and groovin’. DJ Kanna showed some really trippy clips – the highlight being the ‘Ground Theme’ from Super Mario Brothers mashed up with a fat hip-hop groove, and Mario doing his intrepid plumber thing on screen.
DJ Kanna tried to bring in some old-school hip-hop, but there was a small problem: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, even Jay-Z songs received ho-hum type tepid responses, but once Yogi B and Natchatra were on the screen with their faces and on the soundsystem with their raps, there were lots of wolf-whistles and catcalls. So he gave up and stuck to playing popular stuff – Pitbull, Chamillionaire, Nelly, even Madonna – and everyone was happy.
DJ Bobkat took centrestage then, quite literally, by colonising the dance floor and performing a bonepowderingly brilliant version of Bombay Bassment’s ‘Hip-Hop [Never be the Same]’, all by himself. He was, I must say, quite epic, and this was when the crowd, finally, got properly involved. Bob also invited the B-Boys in the house to show him what they had, and they willingly obliged.
So, the show was eminently enjoyable and we were having a good time. We left before it was over because we didn’t want the Grand Canyon-deep BASS to permanently rearrange our internal organs. And you know what Chennai auto-drivers do to scared young men outside a hotel past 11 at night. Oh yes you do.
PS: We had quick chats with both DJ Bob and DJ Kanna. More on that later. Cause, you know, the roof’s on fire…!